tv PBS News Hour PBS March 8, 2013 6:00pm-7:00pm PST
and friends of the newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> suarez: more jobs, less unemployment. those were the headlines from the government's latest report on the economy, released this morning. it's been a tough climb for job seekers, but things seemed to be looking up last month. today's labor department data showed 236,000 jobs were added in february. january's numbers were revised down, but the figures from december were increased. all told, monthly gains have averaged more than 200,000 jobs since november. in february, the construction sector alone added 48,000 jobs. the most in six years, spurred by a housing rebound.
retail also saw more hiring and manufacturing ticked up as well. white house chief economist alan krueger. >> i think if you look at today's report and some of the other indicators that have been coming in unemployment insurance claims, i.s.m. numbers, auto sales. we see a picture of an economy that's continuing to recover. >> suarez: the day's other big number was the unemployment rate, which dropped to 7.7%. that was the lowest in four years. the main reason was that more people found work, but some 130,000 others number stopped looking for work, so they were no longer counted. overall, the official number of unemployed now sits at just over 12 million americans. it hasn't been that low since december of 2008. also of comes despite higher payroll taxes and despite uncertainty in the run-up to those across-the-board federal spending cuts that kicked in, as of march first.
overall, it was the best jobs report since 2009. to help us look at developments-- big and small-- behind the numbers, we turn to diane swonk, senior managing director and chief economist for mesirow financial, a diversified financial services firm based in chicago. and, daniel gross, global business editor and a columnist for "newsweek" and "the daily beast." dian swonk, what does it tell you that even amidst all the washington crises and the deadlines and the cliffhangers job growth remains solid? >> well, it is certainly welcome news to see, particularly the private sector generating almost 250,000 jobs during the month. and as you noted earlier, the increase in jobs in the construction sector is going to fall over on the imprint of housing there, also on manufacturing, the bloomberg production was up, employment, along with construction materials so you are seeing the spill over finely showing signs of
healing after being dormant so long. and the aftermath of superstorm sandy in there as well. but it's important we're seeing really more broad-based gains in the private sector than we have seen in the past and that's encouraging. the problem is it is amidst all this uncertainty and we get to see the other shoe to drop in terms of the cuts in spending particularly in defense and health care going forward. >> dan gross, again, through all these things, even through the election, even through the aftermath of job growth has remained pretty consistent. >> well i think the political system in the last year and a half is really vastly overstated its impact on the job market and the economy at large. people thought when we had that debt crisis in august of 2011 that we were going to go into another recession. we didn't. a lot of pundits kept saying oh, no one is going to hire because there is an election. no one is going to hire because there is a fiscal cliff. no one is going to hire because of obama care, because of the sequester.
none of that turns out to be true. when you get rising demand, we've had sustained growth of this economy going on almost four years now. so when more customers show up, you hire people to do the work. our exports remain at quite high levels. they bounce back very sharply. and you add what diane was talking about, the housing market which is becoming a pretty substantial contributor to economic growth, not just through the hiring of people for construction jobs, but the higher volume of sales is more work for brokers and insurance agents and mortgage brokers and that whole industry. and of course rising home prices which we are getting makes people feel better and in a better position to consume. >> diane swonk, behind those two big aggregated numbers, 236,000 and 7.7%, the monthly report includes a lot of other data. what would you turn us to to get a bigger picture of the
job market overall. >> well, again t gets us to this issue of good but not good enough. i do agree that the economy is is in a recovery and we could be at a turning point where we see more substantial job growth if we don't have some of the cuts that we have hanging out there. that said, i think it's really important to understand the sort of ongoing pain in the economy as well. the 7.7% we got there, in part by some-- the wrong ways to get there, not the right ways. and that is that people weren't throwing their hat in the ring as much, participation rates fell. there were a number of people who gave up, without didn't look for work. the labor force actually shrunk and what you would like to see for a more sustained recovery t might have been the weather, it might have been anything. consumers said they were more hopeful about the job market when asked about it in the attitude surveys in the month of february but they didn't actually put that perception into reality. throw their cat in the ring and actually took for a job. and that's what you really want to see for a more sustained and substantial recovery. and one that really brings down the unemployment rate more fundamentally. one of the other issues is
the persistence of the long-termed unemployed. we've been eroding away at that. a sticking point. a number of people that have employed more than 27 weeks and that's something the federal reserve has brought up as a particular concern to-to-them because they are worried those people have been unemployed so long, could become permanently unemployed. >> daniel a long with the low labor force participation rate that diane mentioned and also the stubbornly high long-term unemployment rate, hourly wages hardly budged. four cents an hour from the previous report. and its wages that drive more spending, that drives more employment, doesn't it? >> absolutely. i think on the year wages were up by 2 toy -- 2.1%. bun of the big, a story that has been covered but i don't think with sufficient detail is that you know, companies have really distinguished themselves in this recovery since 2009 in their ability to increase profits, find new markets, boost their
sales and especially boost their profit. corporate profits are really at a record high. they have a record amount of cash on hand. they've been able to do that in part because they're finding new markets in places like china and india. but they've also been able to do that by really sort of beating up on their workers in the sense that they're getting them to work harder, more productively, more hours, do more work without really paying them much more. and over the long, you know, that say real issue in our economy. because most people you know, they spend almost all of what they earn. their ability to enjoy a quality of life and to invest is based on their wages. and we are going to get to a point in this recovery where companies are going to have to sort of give it up. in other words, they're going have to voluntarily pay a little more and make a conscious effort to pay their workers a little more in order to keep giving them the tools to consume a little more. >> suarez: diane swonk, do you agree? >> i do. and in fact i would go a little further on that and
say unfortunately that point in time is not likely to come for some time to come. we still have a lot of excess workers out there looking for work, more workers than we have jobs to employ them. even though it is whittling away at the unploit rate rate, really not taking it to down substantially and that is the problem. the wage gains, there is unevenness in sector, even the health-care sector which has been the star of the labor market for some years now, you're seeing a lot of hiring by lower wage personnel, technicians replacing higher wage nurses in some cases. this month nursing employment did increase but that wasn't where the bulk of the employment gains were in health care. a lot of it was in lesser paid, lower tech people. what you are seeing is many health-care providers, for justifiable reasons because they are being squeezed as well, are trying to squeeze cost out of the system. but it is hurting some of those workers that had been doing so well like nurses. some nurses are seeing as much as 20% in their pay cut as well so all of those things add up to be very uneven for the economy. and leads to the sort of,
you know, we are gaining jobs which is increasing income after a big drop in the month of january. but we're not gaining wages. so for the individual, it feels like there's sort of spinning their wheels a bit. >> you know when we came out of the deepest part of the trough during the last four years, there would be the occasional good monthly report, and people like you, diane and people like you, dan, would say we're not out of the woods yet. well, before we go tonight, what does out of the woods or at least coming out of the woods look like? what should people be looking for? dan. >> i think a few more reports like this, 250,000 jobs is pretty good. you annualize that over the course of a year. it's 3 million. over the past 12 months we got 2 million. and i would actually look, you know, drilling down, we've had the situation the last few years where the private sector adds jobs every month. but the public sector which is federal, state and local governments cuts them, 10,000 here, 20,000 there.
over the past three years, the public sector has cut 1.1 million jobs. so if government had managed to maintain its employment levels, we would have a much different unemployment rate and i much different jobs picture. we like to think the europeans are doing austerity and that's kind of self-destructive. but at the state level, at the local level and to a lesser degree at the federal level we've really been having austerity policies in terms of cutting spending by cutting employment. if that finally lifts, if governments are in a position where they are not firing teachers and are hiring construction workers and cops and firefighters again, that would add to the labor growth that we're having and it wouldn't just be the private sector doing it. >> diane, quick final thought. >> final thought is i really want to see that participation rate come back. some of it is because people are arjing but that's not all the reason we've seen the decline in it. you want to see a sign of hope out there the best sign that the recovery in the labor market is sustainable, that people really believe they can put their hat in the ring and get a job when
they are looking for a job. >> suarez: diane swonk and daniel gross, thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> brown: online, economics correspondent paul solman breaks down the numbers, using his unique measurement of unemployment. that's on our "making sense" page. and still to come on the "newshour": an al qaeda spokesman pleads not guilty, venezuela bids good bye to hugo chavez; brooks and marcusand a poet remembers the tsunami that hit japan. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: the news of increased hiring helped wall street finish the week with new gains. the dow jones industrial average added 67 points to close at 14,397. the nasdaq rose 12 points to close at 3,244. for the week, both the dow and the nasdaq gained more than 2%. the conclave to elect the next pope will begin on tuesday. the college of roman catholic cardinals reached that decision today. they've been holding meetings at the vatican ahead of the conclave to address the church's problems. the vatican press secretary said today the preliminary talks
should help the cardinals decide who is best suited to succeed pope benedict the sixteenth. >> i have every confidence in that entering the sistine chapel, they are entering the sistine chapel early next week with data, with information and with a better sense of what the church needs and who the church needs. >> sreenivasan: in all, 115 cardinals will vote in the conclave. it will continue until one man wins a two-thirds majority or 77 votes. there was new talk of war from north korea today, in the face of u.n. sanctions over its nuclear program. the north canceled a non- aggression pact with south korea, and its leader met with front-line soldiers. we have a report from angus walker of "independent television news," in beijing. >> arriving by boat, kim jung un is seen being given a raptureous welcome by troops stationed on an island close to the tense border with the south. this was state tv showing their commander in chief on
the front lines, just as north korea is threatening to launch a nuclear attack, and today scrapped a nonaggression pact. kim jungun told the soldiers to be ready to go into battle, according to the official news agency. he seem scanning the same south korean coastal areas where just over two years ago when his father was in power northkorea shelled a south korean island, claiming it had been provoked. in the war of words, south korea today fired back, warning the north would vanish from the earth if it launched a nuclear attack. china urged all sides to keep calm and return to negotiations. the latest furious threat from north korea comes just as the south and the united states embark on large scale military exercises and the day after the u.n. voted
through fresh sanctions. >> kim jung un is seen leaving the island. soldiers waiting out to see him off. their families weeping and waving as the north korean leader heads off into increasingly dangerous waters. >> in kenya the >> sreenivasan: in kenya, the vote count in the presidential race neared completion, amid signs there might be an outright winner. uhuru kenyatta apparently had just over 50% of the vote to 42% for raila odinga. that margin would be enough to prevent a runoff. kenyatta will still have to face the international criminal court in the netherlands. he is charged in connection with violence after the 2007 election. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to jeff. >> brown: an associate and family member of osama bin laden appeared in a new york courtroom today. margaret warner reports. >> warner: outside, police vehicles with flashing lights guarded the federal court building in lower manhattan. while inside, suleiman abu ghaith-- alleged to have been a spokesman for al-qaeda-- pled not guilty to a single count of conspiring to kill americans. the 47-year-old kuwaiti was a
muslim preacher, al qaeda follower and son-in-law to osama bin laden. he allegedly appeared with bin laden, the day after the 9/11 attacks. urging muslims to attack christians, jews and americans and a short time later, he gave this speech. >> ( translated ): the storm of planes will not stop. there are thousands of young muslims who desire martyrdom in the path of allah. >> warner: federal prosecutors say in 2002, abu ghaith left afghanistan for iran, where he's lived since. then, last month, he traveled to ankara, turkey, only to be detained and deported to kuwait. but during a stopover in amman, jordan, he was nabbed by u.s. authorities. and flown to new york to face charges in federal court. that move drew criticism from some republicans, who argued that terror suspects should be tried by military tribunals at guantanamo bay, cuba. senator lindsey graham, of south
carolina: >> you're putting people like this into federal court, giving them the same constitutional rights as an american citizens. >> warner: similar objections in 2010 forced attorney general eric holder to back down from plans to try alleged 9-11 mastermind khaled sheik mohammed in new york. but today, a white house spokesman, josh earnest, defended going to civilian court. >> they are a... in many ways a more efficient way for us to deliver justice to those who seek to harm the united states of america and that is the >> warner: abu ghaith was returned to prison today. a trial date will be set next month. for more on today's hearing and the decision to try abu ghaith in federal court, i'm joined by jess bravin-- a reporter with the wall street journal and author of the book "the terror courts." and "new york times" reporter william rashbaum who was in the courtroom today. >> welcome, gentlemen,
william rushbaum, tell us what it was like in court today, how did it unfold? >> well, mr. abu ghaith was brought into the courtroom in handcuffs. security was pretty heavy t there were probably about a dozen marshals in there he was uncuffed, sat down. he looked quite different than he did when he appeared with osama bin laden. his beard is trimentd. it's gray. most of his hair is gone. and the proceeding was brief and they took care of some limited business. his laurent erred a not guilty plea for him and they set a conference date about a month out. >> did the defendant say anything? how did he act? >> he was-- appeared calm. he responded yes two or three times to questions put to him by the judge who
summarized the charges, explained his rights to him, appointed three lawyers to represent him. but he seemed calm. >> warner: on what basis from what you could tell from what unfolded in court, is he being charged with conspiracy to kill americans? i mean he's not alleged, or is he alleged to have taken part in any specific attack? >> no. he's not. the indictment is relatively brief and in large measure focuses on statements that he made. key-- he essentially made threatening statements about the united states, said that there would be additional attacks. i think the indictment cites statements he made on september 12th. and some subsequent statements he made as well. >> warner: jess bravin, you cover the supreme court.
you have written a lot about courts. how would you explain the basis on which they're finding conspiracy here, or alleging conspiracy. >> they're alleging conspiracy because he was very close to osama bin laden. osama bin laden was the organizer, the patron of the 9/11 attacks. he's with bin laden when those attacks take place. he's making statements for bin laden afterwords. and conspiracy is a way that the government that can imfuture to one defendant the offenses of another. this crime basically says he was in on the plot and he is therefore responsible for many of the outcomes, even if he didn't pull the trigger himself. >> warner: now this is the same federal courthouse that originally the justice department wanted to try khalid sheikh mohammed in but backed down. what you can tell us about why the justice department, nonetheless, despite the outcry last time has gone forward to try abu ghaith here. >> i think there are a number of reason, they sort of learned their lesson, a lesson they might have picked up from the bush administration that it is easier to just do it and then announce it instead of
announce it in advance and wait for the political blowback. during the bush administration they would take controversial actions and then announce him that is what happened here, they brought him to new york and said he's in new york and we will bring him to his arraignment tomorrow. so that is one reason. another reason though is that there would be some problems, at least potential problems if he was sent to a military court at guantanamo or anywhere. military commissions have jurisdiction over crimes of war and military offenses. and there are a couple things here that lawyers may have thought would have been problematic. one even being he is a combatant if he's been on the run for 10 years. >> william rashbaum, back to you. the prosecutor i gather had something to say about what mr. abu grait has told them, has sold investigators that he has given quite an extensive statement, what you can tell us about that? >> well, one of the prosecutors said that he had talked extensively after he
was arrested. we understand that he spoke both before he had a lawyer, then he requested a lawyer and continued to make statements after he was represented by a lawyer. the statements are detailed in a 22 page document that the prosecutor referred to when he talked about the information, evident that was going to be turned over to the defense lawyers. >> warner: and jess back to you, you heard the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell said today other republicans that the government was forfeiting a great opportunity to really interrogate him at length for intelligence information. what's the government response for that. are they saying well, he's already talked, he's given his 22 pages worth of info. >> they certainly pointed that out. and also though there are questions about how, how deeply the government could continue to interrogate him anyway. if they took him to
guantanamo, we would not be lawyerless there. he does have a right to a lawyer under a supreme court decision issued in 2004. so there would immediately be some contest over whether or not he could be held there and whether or not the government could make him talk. and president obama has foresworn the coercive interrogation methods that the last interrogation used so the chances of all the kinds of enhanced or coercive things that might be lessened. >> warner: the white house deputy spokesman said today that the civil yar-- civilian courts are i think it was an efficient way to deliver justice, as he put it, to terrorist. what is the record on that between military tribunals and civilian court? >> well, there have been since president bush first authorized the use of military commissions, seven conviction, most of those were plea bargains. two of them were recently vacated by the dc circuit court of appeals so there are now five. there has been a slow process and encumbered by a lot of internal disarray and political intervention on what has gone on in the
office of military commissions. at the same time, the justice department has racked up a fairly consistent record of getting conviction. they've had dozens and dozens of terror suspects convicted in the same period. and the advance, i guess-- the advantage, i guess advocates would say of using federal court is there won't battles about the legitimacy of the courthouse it sell. at guantanamo almost all the proceedings are heavily affected by challenges to whether or not the trial itself is a lawful exercise of government power. >> warner: well, jess bravin, william rushbaum of the "new york times," thank you both >> suarez: next to venezuela, crowds spread out over a mile today in caracas as the country said goodbye to leader hugo chavez. matt frei of "independent television news" reports.
>> reporter: this feels less like a funeral and more like a celebration of immortality. and every time the camera passes the exhausted faithful who have been waiting on their feet for 24 hours. >> alls this despite the -- >> chavez may be dead but they all behave as if he's still alive. highlights of a life cut short of only 68 years are played on giant screens on a loop. given perhaps his post house appeal the government has taken the decision not to bury him but to em baum chavez and keep him lying in state forever. immortality is the rarest of compliments. and for this crowd, chavez has joined the -- >> cristo. >> what they are saying is that the three most important people in their lives all dead are jesus christ, simon bolivar and now hugo chavez. for the country and the
government, this was an opportunity to do many things. not just pay respects to the man who dominated venezuela for the last 40 years. first up, the symbolic park of the torch or in this case the sword of poer . the sword is in fact a replica of the one once belonged to simon boll i vor, the liberater of latin american from colonial rule and chavez's main inspiration. today it was held a lot of bit man who inherited chavez's mantle, vice president nicholas maduro former bus driver and union boss, who will be sworn in as interim president later today and hopes to get rea noinlted in fresh elections. the sword was his personal gift to his dead patron. then this was an opportunity for venezuela to show off its friends to the world. after the latin american leaders tried a place in their very own guard of honor president ahmadinejad of iran and president of belarus, raul castro brother
of fiddle also had a front row seat. to washington this may look like a class reunion of the axis of evil, but to the guests here this is the club of countries that pride themselves on defying america. many of those in the audience lacked most of the things that chavez possessed. charisma, a popular mandate, plenty of oil, and a good friend from hollywood. the actor sean penn was also in attendance. hugo chavez reveled being a devicive figure. and he'll continue to divide opinions at home and abroad, even from the grave >> brown: and that brings us to the analysis of brooks and marcus. that's "new york times" columnist david brooks and washington post columnist ruth marcus. mark shields is off today. welcome to you. so go back to its top of the show, good news, david, on the jobs front. good news for the economy,
even as washington dysfunction continues. >> yeah, we overestimate how much effect washington has. sort of like you're so vein, you really think this economy is about you. i have asked a bunch business leaders. >> you don't want to sing that. >> not with my voice today. i have asked a bunch of business leaders, you know, over the past five years, what government actions have really affected a concrete decision you've made. and the you get answers all over the lot. there is no consensus at all on this question. the number i get is uncertainty. i can't plan because health-care cost, financial regulation. the number two answer is nothing. i can't think of anyway the government, even the big stimulus, the third answer i get is the stimulus helped us. the fourth answer i get is some other thing. and so it has what we do here in washington has an effect on macroeconomy. but the idea that the fiscal cliff or the little things we're doing here and now, even the sequester which saul bad government, the idea that it has a huge affect on hiring decisions, i remain dubious. >> brown: but the sequester
and the run-up to all that, many economists said that is bad. the president of course was saying it could be very bad. >> sky is falling. i would disagree with david. because i did think that what happens in washington does matter. it just doesn't simply matter instantly. so we haven't seen built into these job numbers any of the impact of the sequester. and i think it's important to remember we avoided the fiscal cliff but there still was with the expiration of that payroll tax holiday, a drag on the economy. there is definitely going to be a drag on the economy with the impact of the sequester when it starts to decell n about a month or two and in a rolling way. so this is a terrific jobs number. that is good. but this has been a slow and trag il recovery. and nobody should celebrate too much just yet. or discount, sorry david, the impact of washington. >> i mean obviously there are drags. i agree, things are drag, but there are also pluses, the lowering of oil, of gas prices that is obviously a plus.
so there is a complex mixture of things. >> brown: but from a political stand point bo, do you take it further, did the president overplay his hand to some degree, in say, in the sky is falling toward the sequestration. >> yeah, i thought sequestration was absolutely terrible policy. so from the point of view of are we running a descent government t was terrible. from the point of view are-- do people want a sign that their government can actually function, and does that overlow a level of confidence affect economic performance. i think he was right about that. if he was saying 0.25% drop in federal spending, whatever, is going to have an immediate economic effect on hiring decisions that was over doing it. >> we spent some of time after the election is the president has the upper hand, republicans are down. has it flipped at all now? >> well, the president has the upper hand because he's the president by definition. but he's still got a republican house to deal with. i want to go back just a second on the sequester. because you had this odd thing during the campaign we refuse, when i say we, my
president obama and mitt romney declined to talk about the fiscal cliff, declined to talk about-- . >> brown: i didn't think she was talking about all of us. >> us, even after the election we didn't hear about the sequester. then all of a sudden the administration way overplayed its hand by making it seem as if the sky was imminently falling. we may well feel, we probably will feel the impacts of these things not just in the macroeconomy but because it's a small part of overall government spending. but it is a large part of government spending on some particular programs. wait for those airport lines, david's going be on a flight later tonight. i'm sure will be whisked right to the front. so when-- but when, now the president has completely flipped again. he's gone from sky is falling, let's go out and trumpet to the country, how terrible and irresponsible these republicans are to cozying up with them in meal time diplomacy. >> brown: that's where i wanted to go.
the president has dinner. he invites 12 republicans to a hotel in washington, neutral territory. what do you make of that? is it useful. >> yeah, first i'm shocked that ruth thinks i'm flying commercial. mi flying commercial, i want to make that clear. so i think -- >> he's in a different economy all together. >> how the other half live. >> so i think it's vastly overdue. those of us who interview these people have a sense that you interview them separately. and they do a lot of times guessing about what the other party is thinking. and then a lot of times, you heard this especially from republicans, wildly inaccurate views of what obama was proposing. let alone what he believed in private. and so the idea was why don't you just get together. and i remember this, thinking this four or five years ago. paul ryan and barack obama are two-- if they could actually sit around the table. would you think he has had a lot of lunches since president, choose one and have paul ryan come over.
and so it's always mystified me that it hasn't happened. but it has happened and so far the effect as far as we can tell has been entirely positive. >> brown: what do you think? >> well, i think it's great that it has happened. i question why it didn't happen sooner, either four years ago or two months ago. i also think that yes, the first results are entirely positive. but it is a long way from din tore dessert. >> yeah. >> and yes, there-- there are some signs of what the president called the common sense caucus in the senate, some willingness from senator mccain, senator iot, senator graham to accept some new revenue as part of tax reform, and if you combine it with controlling entitlement spending, that is all terrific. and the president ought to be able to agree to that. but there is that thing i mentioned earlier, which is even if you could get an agreement on that, and in that grand bargain that we keep sitting here talking about, how do you get it past the house. where there seems to be, i
interviewed paul ryan the other day, absolutely no willingness to accept new revenue, even as part of taxes. >> and the president is next week continuing this. he goes to capitol hill four times, including to talk to the house within but obviously the basic structural problems are not going to go away with a few meals. but i do think there has been sort of a lowering of the desire to rachet every discussion up into world war three. and so i think the budget where this seem to have jointly decided let's stop having these budget fights. and so on some of the-- thinking how to get past the sequester or really lock in the sequester, they seem to let's have a compromise where they won't raise the hot button issues, they just get through and get on to other stuff. i think it helped a little on that. >> they have decided to temporarily halt all these budget fights so we won't, i think it's highly unlikely we'll have a government shutdown at the end of march. but i really would keep an eye on, once again, the debt ceiling debate that we're
going have come may, june july. >> i'm resisting here. but to move on to another phenomenon this week which was the filibuster by rand paul. he had a lot of republicans praising him, right off the bat. and then 24 hours later he got hammered by john mccain, lindsey graham. so what do you make of the divisions there? >> well, it's very interesting. first of all i would say it's not particularly senatorial to call your colleague a wacko bird. that is an interesting way to get a lock with everybody, that is what senator mccain had to say about senator paul. look there are a bunch of divisions be within the republican party, social con serving difficult, fiscal conservatives, isolationist, neokonst, democracy promoters and this is another one between the libertarians an those who believe in strong, executive authority. and particularly during the war on terror. we -- hear a lot from that group during the bush-- mrtion. now you have a democratic president, that may have enhanlsed it a little bit. i thought that senator paul
did a good service in the sense that he brought attention to this throne issue which has been underattend toad in terms of what are we doing. where are we doing it, what is the legal basis for it. who exactly is doing it. those rawl legitimate questions. the problem i had with what he did is that he was asking exactly the wrong question, which was conjuring up this fanciful notion that we could be attacked right here, right now and by some president run amok. that's not going to happen. the attorney general told him it wasn't going to happen. he refused to take no for an answer. but i do think that the sort of larger question is valuable. >> well s it a legitimate debate over national security within the party? and is it a debate that has future consequences, political consequences. >> well, it is an ancient debate if you go back through robert taft, the republican party had a recently strong-- reasonably strong anti-military, well, not anti-military but anti-interventionist league
and that goes back for decades. it was sort of quieted. it tends to grow when there is a democrat in the white house. when bill clinton was contemplating action in kosovo, suddenly it got big again. when the republican is president, it vanishes. and it will vanish again when there is any sense of a threat. so for example, there were a lot of people cheering ron paul on like rush limbaugh, because he was jabbing the president. but if it comes time that some american threat and there is a need for a military intervention somewhere, they will be with john mccain and lindsey graham. >> he's not also jabbing the republican establishment at the same time. >> he is. but i think they like the fact that he is mr. washington. i do think what looks like his side of the debate is bigger than it was five years ago, no question about that. but looks are artificially inflated. >> brown: just a couple minutes. i wanted to turn to politics to a sort of cultural marker which is the chief operating it officer of facebook share el sandberg has a new book lean in prompting a discussion of whether women can have it all or whether just best off women can have it all. what do you think?
is it a cultural moment? is it a useful moment. >> it is a constant cultural moment. it seems like the endless debate and i imagine some woman sitting in this chair 20, 30 years from now having exactly the same discussion, probably with a couple guys, nothing personal. >> i'll still be here. >> we'll try to be here. >> we'll wheel you in. look, we had this conversation last summer when ann ma yee slaughter of the state department wrote what i thought was a not terribly well thought through preece piece called why women still can't have it all. sheryl sandberg's book is very interesting. because she talks from admittedly, she acknowledges this. i am privileged. i, most women who work don't have the flexibility i do. many women who do have the flexibility i do, haven't made the same decision i do. that's all fine. but she talks not just about bias or discrimination, conscious or unconscious in the workplace, but about the ways in which women
consciously or unconsciously contribute to their own inability to have it all or lack of success. and i think it's going to spark a very, very interesting debate. >> brown: and the man's view. >> you can have it all. this is the essence of conservatism. no one can have it all there are always trade offs in life. the world isn't structured to have it all. i will say two things. one, why are so few women crossing the ceiling. i think the evidence is overwhelmingly childbirth. there is some sexism but a lot of women do not want to commit themselves to that sort of life so, it's that. second, i'm just struck kate roy wrote a good piece about this, why so much hostility toward her especially from feminist circles, as if a lot of people want to have women successful, and they have a successful woman, they are hostile because she is out of touch and doesn't get it. so my sympathy is mostly with her. >> brown: i will give you one sentence if you can rebut or respond in one sentence. >> i think share el
sandberg's point about child birth, yes, you might make different choices but don't cut off your choices before you know that's what you want to do. keep yourself in the mix. and you know what, have the guts as she does to leave the office at 5:30 and then check in at home. >> all right, a discussion we've started and we are going to try to continue it on the program next week. ruth marcus, david brooks, thanks very much. >> suarez: we'll be back shortly with a writer's impressions, two years after the tsunami in japan. but first: this is pledge week on p.b.s. this break allows your public television station to ask for your support.
devastating tsunami hit japan. we take a look back through the words of a writer. gretel ehrlich is best known for her nature and travel writing. she's authored 13 books, including three of poetry. it was the most powerful earthquake ever to hit japan. triggering a tsunami that reached over 130 feet, taking close to 16,000 lives and causing the meltdown of three nuclear reactors: a disaster of epic proportions. beginning in the 1960s, gretel ehrlich, began visiting japan regularly to study and write about its culture, religion-- she's a practicing buddhist-- and literature. soon after the tsunami, she returned for the first of three trips to document the physical and emotional aftermath. >> i felt a need to go and it's been a lifelong thing about japan that has called me. i wanted to hear the stories.
>> brown: the result was the new book-- part reportage, part personal reflection-- titled, "facing the wave: a journey in the wake of the tsunami". she talked to us about it recently on kent island, maryland, where she spends the winter. >> we came to cove after cove of villages that just didn't exist anymore. you'd see parts of boats up in the trees and clothing from rocks but it was when we got to the larger towns, three of them right in a row, where you drive down a street and the rubble on either side would maybe be two or three stories high. it became this illegible collage of a society that had been completely taken apart and left there. >> brown: for ehrlich, one response was in poetry and
writing verse, based on what she was seeing. >> my old friend william stafford, a poet now gone, said, "a poem is an emergency of the spirit." and i think those are the moments i wrote a poem, when i couldn't sort of tell the news anymore." here the earth-altar breaks. we've always been on the move. past and future, those are places i've never reached. where the tsunami wave came and went, that's where i am. >> everything in japanese culture is about beauty framed by impermanence and a poem can be very brief and in a way, it explodes out like an open door. it draws the mind and heart in and then it lets go, it sort of
steps aside for the people who suffered so greatly there. everything is transient, everything is in flux. >> brown: but many things in japan, she says, also have historical resonance. one of her poems, referring to the 17th century poet matsuo basho, makes a comparison between the fukushima daiichi meltdown and the bombing of hiroshima and nagasaki. >> "finally the twisted roadbed drains and the daily floodtides at ishinomaki dry out. the sky unmists itself and loss upon loss begins to feel like company. nothing touches. nights are brittle and soft, ink scraped smooth. to the south fukushima daiichi blazes. flames we can't see.
sixty-six years ago two other seacoast towns vanished. i stick my forearm out in moonlight. looking seaward my skin burns." there was a sense of survival euphoria that came up because it was in such a field of loss, the possibility that you were still alive was kind of overwhelming. >> brown: amid the devastation, ehrlich says, she found a remarkable resilience. this is a country and a people with long experience of natural disasters including tsunamis. >> "morning star-evening star. is the abyss dark or fed by fire? i hold a cracked tea bowl in my
mind. it is lopsided, beautiful, spilling. the chilled depths into which i slide break open like doors. abyss-san says, 'you have to be alive to die.'" >> brown: ehrlich says she hopes to return to japan soon to help with efforts to move people from temporary government housing into permanent homes. and there's more online, where you can watch gretel ehrlich read from her poetry on our art beat page. >> suarez: again, the major developments of the day: a surge in hiring produced the best jobs report in four years with unemployment dropping to 7.7%. roman catholic cardinals set and osama bin laden's son in law pleaded not guilty to plotting to kill americans in a federal court appearance in new york. >> brown: and online, on our science page, see what prompted the mars rover to get some shut- eye. hari sreenivasan has the details. >> sreenivasan: engineers programmed some downtime. for curiosity this week as a precaution while solar flare
particles showered over mars. see the path of the space plasma on our science page. plus, in honor of international women's day, we revisit the courageous story of a woman who survived immense trauma in the congo. after militiamen maimed her face, anonciata is now on the road to recovery. we have her story on our homepage. all that and more is on our website newshour.pbs.org. ray? >> suarez: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. on monday, we'll look at who can access your email, your photos, your facebook page and the rest of your digital life when you die. i'm ray suarez. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. "washington week" can be seen later this evening on most pbs stations. we'll see you online and again here monday evening. have a nice weekend. thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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ramping up, employers add 236,000 jobs in february, pushing unemployment to a four-year low and vaulting the dow to another all-time high. the fed's next move? bill gross, manager of the world's biggest bond fund weighs in. and the american recovery, four challenges that could unleash prosperity for imperil. good evening, everyone and welcome to our public television viewers. suzie today another historic day all about jobs. >> it was a welcome surprise in the jobs numbers and the unemployment rate standing at 7.7% tonight the lowest in more than four years. american businesses added 236,000 new jobs in february, cutting across all sectors of the economy, and that burst in hiring inspired investors. stocks were up again today
making this a week of records for the dow jones industrial average. the dow rose 6 points closing at 14,397, another record high. the nasdaq added 12, the s&p edged up 7 points and this is the tenth straight friday of the year that the major market averages were up. so where are the new jobs? what sectors are still seeing weakness and what is the role of the federal reserve in the labor market? steve liesman has our report. >> reporter: a solid jobs report renewing hopes that the u.s. economy could be chugging along just fast enough to put americans back to work. economists are encouraged by this report but they're concerned that the strength may not last. that's why goldman sachs economist says the federal reserve is unlikely to change its easing monetary policy from this report alone. >> the question i think is more how many times months do you have to see to be convinced that is the underlying